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    Gas, gold prices down in Kabul

    KABUL (PAN): Gas and gold prices have decreased and the rate of diesel jumped during the outgoing week in Kabul, where food prices stayed unchanged, retailers said on Thursday.

    Thirty government-run shops were seen selling a kilo of gas for 55 afghanis, while the Ministry of Commerce and Industries had provided the commodity to 70 shops at 54afs per kilo.

    A gas dealer in the Qala-i-Fathullah locality, Mohammad Yousuf, said he sold a kilo of gas for 59afs against its last week's rate of 85afs after the ministry provided the gas.

    However, a Taimani-based dealer, Obaidullah, said a kilogram of gas was sold for 75afs, arguing he had received the gas from a private company at 69afs per kg.

    Commerce Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi has said diesel price went up following the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) started buying it from local markets, because Pakistan had banned fuel supplies to foreign troops.

    The price of 560 kilograms of unpeeled oak was 6,800afs, a firewood stall owner in the Qalacha locality, Fazal Ahmad, said. The rate of 560 kg of cedar was 6,500afs, the same price as last week.

    Abdul Baseer, a jeweler in the Lecce-i-Maryam neighbourhood, said the price of one gram of Arabian gold dropped from 2,300afs to 2,100afs and the Iranian variety from 1,900afs to 1850afs. He linked the decline to international market trends.

    A 50-kilogram bag of Brazilian sugar was priced at 2,180afs, the same amount of Pakistani flour at 1040afs and rice at 2,500afs, said the Food Traders' Union head.

    Haji Fazlul Rahman said the rates of other food items remained unchanged. A five-kg can of Spin Ghar ghee accounted for 420afs, a kilo of black tea for 190afs and the same amount of green tea for 160afs.

    Wholesale prices of eatables varied from retail rates in some parts of the city. A shopkeeper in the Qala-i-Fathullah locality said he sold a 50-kg sack of Pakistani flour for 1,150afs.

    Shukrullah added the same amount of Pakistani rice cost 2,600afs and a 50-kg bag of Brazilian sugar 2,250afs. A five-kg tin of ghee was priced at 487afs, a kg of African back tea at 200afs and the same amount of Indonesian green tea at 170afs.

    Moneychanger Mohammad Amin Jan Khosti said the buying rate of a US dollar was 48.95afs, while 1,000 Pakistani rupees accounted for 550afs. Last week's exchange value of the greenback stood at 48.60afs and 1,000 Pakistani rupees at 550afs.